From The Mud Puddle

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Some cards, an ultrasound photo, a broken golden cracker turning green..

A Christmas card memorializing you and two of your siblings, some photos, a clear glass heart..

A shoebox kept in the top of the closet with two others with similar content holding the small tangible memories of your short life..

Some writings, some balloons released, an entry in our bible documenting you are a part of us and our family..

Seeing April 30th, the date you were due, coming around again and again for the past 14 years without you here..

And we remember, we love and we give thanks to the Lord as we miss you here..

Know we'll never forget you, always will remember you and are at peace with where you are.

To my little baby, "Grace", with love,


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An update of my update's update:

(And yes, MSM, the laundry is done lol)

You may recall the story of our Ball Root Christmas Tree that I wrote about in February. I am happy to report that with so much recent rain, our tree actually is thriving so far (two months out) and has some new growth appearing on it's branches. Praise God!

Monday, April 28, 2008

My philosophy on my immediate family buying gifts for me is like this: If they are going to spend money on me, buying a gift, I want them to give me what THEY want me to have. They can keep in mind things they know I've said I liked or have been interested in, but mainly, I want them to give me what they want me to have. (if they are going to go to the trouble of buying me a gift at all) It doesn't have to be expensive, it doesn't have to be much. Just put some thought into it and make it meaningful and what they want for me.

This past birthday , my husband and kids wanted me to have the Trivial Pursuit Totally 80's Edition. My husband reasoned that we all enjoyed playing board games, that we had all enjoyed his very old edition of Trivial Pursuit (bought in the mid 80's incidentally), and that we might enjoy playing this edition since we, you know, lived the era and all. He also was considering our kid's ages and sentimentally also had in mind that we probably wouldn't have too many years left where we would stay up until 2 am playing a board game with the kids as we have been known to occasionally.

I loved him for why he bought it more than the gift itself (though was happily pleased with the gift too, mind you) We had both been looking at it, curious and now we could open it up and find out how well we remembered the 80's.

(BTW: What's with all the recent fascination with the 80's anyway? I mean, I have had younger-than-me people tell me they wish that they had grown up in the 80's because that is when all the good movies were made.(among other reasons) I think to myself, well, while I might agree, I also am baffled by the trendiness of the 80's)

So I opened up the box and found these really adorable game pieces; A very old type computer, a Trapper Keeper, a CD, and Tender heart Care Bear.

I used Tender heart Bear as my game piece as we played our first game. (though it really was hard for me to decide given how much I loved each game piece)

The questions were good. Some answers came easily, some were obscure, while others my husband and I just looked at one another and shrugged our shoulders wondering if we really had lived through that era. (which we did-honest! ) There were questions about music, and movies and President Reagan. There were questions about sports, and the wall coming down.

For the most part we completely enjoyed the game. Life got crazy after that and the game has sat on my broken sewing machine for the better part of the past six months mainly untouched. (it was also covered up with two huge pillows too-sham... er shame on us) Now life has slowed down considerably and I have been itching to pull this out and play a game or two of it again. The questions will be challenging, the competition fierce, but in the end, hopefully I'll win again as I did the first time we played. I am nothing if not competitive!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Who is the winner of the my bloggy giveaway from this past week.
She was choosen at random among all the qualifying entries.
Thank you to all who entered. It was a blessing to hear from you and read your comments. It is exciting to see how God is working through His word in all of your lives.

Update of my update


(I have surpassed my daughter's score twice within 24 hours-I have no idea how long it will last)

I promised to keep y'all updated if I ever got a higher high score on virus buster. I know you've been waiting anxiously for the news.

Well, I not only got a new high score for myself-but I also beat my daughter's previous high score, thus giving me THE high score amongst all of us here in my home.

Forget how LONG it took me to do it. Fact is that I did it, finally.... 1404 was sweet!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I have been both amazed and encouraged by everyone that has visited my blog this week. There is still a little time for you to get in on the giveaway if you havent already. My giveaway ends tonight at 11PM EST. I'll anounce a winner as soon as I pick one, email them and receive an address confirming I have a place to mail the gift card. Stay tuned, it might be you!

We've all been battling colds this week. You may recall this post where I shared my amusement with the bottom of the tissue box instructions. We have since gone through that box plus several others. I need to go back to the store to get some more. (as I am sadly just using toilet paper now) It seems that slowly we are pulling out of the muck and hopefully turning the corner with it all. I think we used up all of our energy on Tuesday with Bayley's birthday as we've been pretty wiped out besides.

So Im still here, reading all your wonderful comments. I've also been entering so many other contests that seemed interesting to me as well. It's remarkable to see the wide variety of contests offered by people in different seasons of their lives and how their giveaways reflect where they are right now in life. It has also given me an opportunity to see some other new to me, neat blogs that I might not would have visited otherwise.

Oh and one more note before I close. I am so glad that Jason from Survivor Micronesia was voted off. It serves him right to go out just like Ozzy did last week. (with immunity idol in hand, yet unplayed because someone blindsided you) I had been rooting for Ozzy. With that hope gone, I just hope that James, Erik and Amanda can somehow find a way to turn the tide against the girl pac that thinks they are all that and a bag of chips. I certainly am not rooting for Natalie or Parvate to win, that's for sure. I'd rather not see Cirie or Alexis win either. Here's to the underdog! ::raises diet pepsi in the air::

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I saw this at MSM's sidebar and had to play along. Here were my results!

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bayley, our cocker spaniel, is nine years old today. That would be 63 to you and me if you do the multiples of dog years. That means that in doggie terms, Bayley is now way older than me...WAY OLDER. While his puppy years are behind him, he still knows how to have a good time (in between naps)

We decided to celebrate this special day with Bayley by taking him to Petsmart to buy a new Froggie. You may recall that his other froggie turned into a pile of stuffing and fluff after a few rounds with Bayley. Below is a video of our trip to the store earlier this afternoon.

After returning home, we pulled out the doggie ice cream that I bought at the store yesterday for him. He's had these before and loves it. The flavor he got this year is peanut butter. We'll probably save the other three ice cream cups for summertime.

Bayley took a few initial tastes before we transferred the ice cream into his food dish.

Bayley's new froggie below sits and waits to be loved and chewed and defluffed.

Bayley becomes acquainted with his new froggie by staring him down...

With some free balloons from the grocery store and a party hat, Bayley had the time of his life. It also helped that he knew that there were some dog treats nearby that he would get once all this "nonsense" he was subjected to is over.

Happy Birthday to our sweet pup, you are indeed one spoiled but loved dog :)
We thank God for all the joy and laughs you bring to us!
Update: While at Petsmart this afternoon, the employees told us that they were having a Pet Birthday Party tonight. We decided to return for the festivities. Bayley did great with all the other doggies around. He got his picture made, got a goodie bag full of dog treats and a party bandanna, and a tennis ball. What a trip to see all those dogs having a party there!
The day is now over for Bayley-he is tired and passed out on the floor by my closet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Contest is now closed. Thank you for entering. No more entries will be accepted. Stay tuned for the winner!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

For the complete list of blogs participating in this week's giveaway carnival,

visit Bloggy Giveaway

This is my first time of offering something for the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. Last time, I remembered all the fun that I had running around to various blogs, meeting new people, finding new fun blogs and entering their giveaways.

Mine is but a humble offering of a prize in hopes of getting to know a few new people who might pass this way during the event.

Glad you are here.

I am offering a $10.00 gift card to Starbucks that I purchased Sunday night in anticipation of this giveaway.

To enter my giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on THIS POST telling me which bible passage/verse God has used to encourage or speak to you most recently.
  • Make sure as you enter, that I have a way to get in touch with you via a working email address.
  • Giveaway is open to those living in the USA only.
  • After I email you, you have three days to email me in return with the address I am to mail the card in order to get it to you. If you do not respond within three days, I will choose another winner.
  • Winner will be chosen in some random way.
  • Have fun! Visit often!
  • I reserve the right to add/amend these rules as needed.

Contest ends Friday night(April 25, 2008) at 11PM EST. I will announce the winner sometime over the weekend here on my blog. Thanks for visiting! God bless!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Today I noticed a new show uploaded to's shows. We've watched episodes of Meerkat Manor, Dirty Jobs, Flip That House and a few others this way. The new show we watched today is a reality show revolving around dog grooming. It is called Groomer Has It . Given that I am a mild fan of tastefully done reality shows and that I love dogs and that we have had all sorts of adventures with grooming our own dog in the past, this show appealed to us.

In the first show, we watch the contestants try to identify breeds of dogs with a blindfold on. Next they try their hand at grooming a yarn dog. The person that wins the challenge will get an upper hand at the next challenge. The person that comes in last place has to "leave the doghouse immediately". They are all playing to win $50,000 and a dog grooming van.

It was entertaining, especially watching as Jasper chopped the leg off his yarn dog. I was surprised that they didn't send him home this time. I would think that chopping the leg off a dog would be a great big no no in dog grooming, yes?

I am not surprised to see that many of the groomers colored their yarn dog's fur. No, not surprised, but coloring dog fur is not my thing, especially if the dog fur is colored to pink, blue or green.

They showed a preview of what is to come in the future shows and it looks like it will be interesting to follow.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This is what happens when:

A. You buy a Christmas present for a dear friend.

B. You fail to visit dear friend within a timely manner after Christmas.

C. You catch a spring cold.

D. You need something to hold in your mouth that is soothing to your scratchy throat.

E. All of the above!

If you choose all of the above, you are correct. There is no prize for being right by choosing "E". I also have a popcorn ball that I plan on opening up too that was suppose to go to the dear friend's daughter. We'll be eating that too. I really need to call this friend so we can meet for Christmas '07.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This morning I learned that Denise Hildreth has a blog . Denise Hildreth is a favorite author of mine having wrote Savannah From Savannah , Savannah Comes Undone , Savannah By The Sea , Flies On The Butter and The Will of Wisteria . Each book tucks a bit of the south's charms and quirks throughout the story lines. The characters are real and messy. I can identify with many of their strengths and weaknesses as they stumble and fall. I can relate to the people that she writes about as they grow through the lives they live. Tucked within each page of her books, she inserts humor and wisdom. She takes time to develop the characters thus allowing you to grow to love them as they become your friends through the storyline. I definitely look forward to more books from the author. I encourage anyone looking for good, entertaining fiction to find Denise's books and read them cover to cover.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In case there was ever any doubt as to how to use a Puffs Tissue, right smack on the bottom of my box are a set of instructions. In three easy steps I can use the tissue correctly. You dont speak English? No problem, the instructions are also in French and Spanish.

There is the added bonus in that the instructions rhyme. Proctor and Gamble should be proud they have such clever people working on the design for this box of tissue.

I've seen my fair share of these the past day or so. I've also watched my son use his fair share too. Apparently he caught a cold at driver's ed and graciously shared it with me. (Thank You Christopher!) My daughter is still staying off her leg..

For the most part, we've watched a lot of TV this week. We started with the Pride and Prejudice DVD set we got free from our Pepsi stuff lids. (Amazon and Pepsi stuff did well in getting this to us within a week!) Then we moved on to watch our normal TV on Mondays/Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Today we broke out a VHS tape my mom made for me of some HGTV she taped a month or so ago.

So I'm back to the Puffs and to watching mindless TV for the rest of the night.

Thankfully I have instructions, or I would be at a loss of what to do with my tissues, you know..


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

As I keep writing the date today there is no where my mind can roam except to this below. It's been 20 years now.

Reposted from three years ago

Saturday, April 16, 2005

When we are born, we are given a blank slate of days before us. The only day that becomes marked right away is the actual day of our birth. As time goes along, life marks assorted days with events...our first tooth, our first steps, our first day of school, our last day of school...graduations, anniversaries, birthdays...and deaths.Today is one such day for me. Today 17 years ago, on a Saturday much like today, my father had a massive heart attack as he was mowing the yard. He died instantly. In an instant he stepped from this side of eternity to the next.

I was 21 years old, and newly married. I was on my way to my parent's house to do laundry, unaware. He had died as I was driving over there, after Jay had left for work. There had not even been time to try to call me or my siblings. I pulled around the familiar curve of our street as it led to our house. The sight still is as vivid as that day. It was a cool spring day, much as today was. The sun was shining brightly. There was an ambulance in the driveway and another emergency rescue vehicle. My heart gave a leap. I thought for sure it was something wrong with my mother as she had just had surgery earlier in the week. A long time neighbor met me in the yard and said, "Go in quickly, your mother needs you".

As I rushed inside in search of my mother, I found her in the back yard. My father was laying on the ground covered by a white sheet. Shivers and screams went off inside of me. Silent, I stood there for a moment staring at my father, that had just passed. My mother saw me, and came to me...and we both went to her bedroom, away from everything and everyone for a few minutes. We held each other close. It was around 3 PM that afternoon.

Today as the day passed, I remembered silently off and on those first moments alone without my earthly father. I remembered the sights and sounds...and sobs. I remember that first night that no one slept ...though we went through the motions sleeping in the living room together. My mother slept on the couch as she didn't want to sleep in the bed she had shared with my dad alone. I remember about 6 AM asking my mom if we could get up...I was tired of trying to sleep, only sobbing instead. I miss my dad, have ever sense that day. He is one of the heroes of my life and was a great provider for our family. While he didn't do everything right, he was right with God through Jesus Christ.

I remember sometime after this day, a day marked in my history forevermore, God giving me the verse in Psalms..68:5 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows--this is God, whose dwelling is holy.I realized more than ever that my Heavenly Father was my Father and would care for us. Even though I was married, I had a lot to learn still about life...and God, my Heavenly Father assured me that He would show me the path to take, and the ways to go.

So as I remember my earthly father that is in heaven (holding my three little ones no less, I'm sure) ....I give praise to my Heavenly Father that my earthly father is with Him, and that I am adopted by God as His child through Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Father to the fatherless.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yesterday, my husband and I took the kids and Bayley the dog to the park. The kids wanted to ride their bikes on one of the bike trails there. Jay and I planned to walk some with Bayley and then wait for them back at the van while they were out riding. It was a beautiful day with highs in the 60's.

The picture above this post is so misleading because while Jay, Bayley and I were out having a leisurely stroll through the park, our kids were flipping off of their bikes on top of one another on a winding steep curve that appeared on the bike trail without warning.

As we strolled back to the van, we saw our kids pushing their bikes as they hobbled along. We were curious as to what was going on as they had not been out there that long. Not knowing why they were opening the van doors to put their bikes back inside, I called out "wait, I wanted to get some pictures of you guys". I had no idea as I called out that my daughter was in severe pain.

She said, "Are you SERIOUS?"

As we got closer, I could see the pain on her face and the dirt on their clothes. They told us what happened quickly and then showed us that my son's bike was ruined. The wheels are so bent out of shape it is amazing he was able to get it back to the van alone. We got everyone in the van and they continued to tell us what happened.

Apparently as they were riding along this curvy steep area appeared. They tried to break unsuccessfully. They continued to pick up speed until they both went over the edge of the trail as they flipped over their bikes. A tree broke my son's fall. My daughter landed on or near him (they were so stunned they are very unsure of exactly where they fell), landing also on a part of her bike. Her bike is fine though, but her body is not.

As she rode home she kept saying that her leg was burning. We looked at it when we arrived home to see a huge swollen area appearing in the upper thigh. I called the doctor on call who wanted us to come on to their after hours clinic on the other side of Greensboro.

We got things set and left. She held ice on her leg the whole way there. I didn't really think it was broken, but wanted to have things checked out since she hurt so bad.

They took an x-ray of her leg (and her other knee cap that was also hurting pretty bad by now) Nothing was broken, but she has a muscle in her upper thigh that is hurt pretty badly. The doctor said it probably would feel a lot worse before it got better. She told us for things to watch for that might signal us to seek further medical attention.

She gave her some muscle relaxants and some high strength Advil. We left to go to the pharmacy and then home. It was about 10:30 by the time we made it all the way home after all of this.

She is still sore, but the meds seem to be doing the trick. My son has a stiff neck and back, but otherwise seems OK so far. We are thankful for God's protection over their lives and health. The helmets did what they are suppose to do (though my son's is damaged along with his bike.)

Gratitude, nothing but gratitude here to God alone.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It was late in the evening, Saturday night. I finished a bag of Whole Foods ORGANIC 360 popcorn, all but the kernels. I thought Bayley, our cocker spaniel might like to have the left overs, especially as he had been staring at me the whole time I was enjoying the popcorn. What started out as just innocently offering him the bag turned into a hilarious fifteen minutes as we watched him get his head (willingly and with a "little encouragement") loosely stuck in the bag in order to get the last piece of popcorn. When all the popcorn was gone, we added some peanut butter to the bottom of the bag in order to have a few more minutes of photos. It's times like this that we know Bayley is enjoying the game as much as we are. He gets a treat and we get some fun times and pictures for later.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Falling from the tree

Swirling around and around

Drop, to swirl again

haiku by muddy

Growing up, spring always brought the budding of trees and these things we called helicopters. they would fall from the maple trees in our front and back yard. As a child, it was fun to pick them up to watch then twirl around and around over and over again. It was fun to gather a handful of them and drop them from the top steps of our house. All at once, you would watch them flutter about, swirling downward in spirals.

Praise God for the little things we love in His world.

Friday, April 11, 2008

small button

Before I begin, I feel I really should say, I know I am not a fashion plate. (though I did have the toy in the late 1970's) My attitude towards fashion begins and ends with comfort over the way it may look on me. I cannot stand clothes that are tight or restrictive. I also struggle with the styles that come in my size. I dont like most of what is out there so much of the time. With that in mind, I present the outfit that bests represents me that I wear:

The above is a simple jumpsuit that I made from this pattern:

Since the early 1990's, I have made perhaps 10-12 of these jumpsuits out of regular interlock knit and waffle knit. The above jumpsuit has purple and light blue stripes with some white mixed in. If I can find the material cheap, then I usually can make one of these for less than 10 dollars, including the thread. I have to adjust the pattern for leg length and in a few other places to custom fit it the way I like it to fit. My favorite one of these that I made is a waffle knit navy blue one that is close to being thread bare now. I do have some regular interlock navy knit fabric in my closet waiting for me to make it into a jumpsuit, but I know it wont be the same as this particular navy suit that is wearing out. One of the things I like about this outfit is it is so versatile. I can wear it in the spring, summer, winter or fall. All I have to do is change the shirt that I am wearing under it. The waffle knit ones are particularly warm in the winter due to the heavy fabric. I also can dress it up or down depending on the shoes that I wear with it. I can wear my ballet flats(seen below) with it and it looks a little nicer. I can wear my tennis shoes (seen below) and it makes it a more casual outfit. I can wear it out and about or to church (and have many times.) I do not know anyone that wears one, so I am different in that I do not wear what everyone else is when I have this on. I really do need to make a new one, but my sewing machine is messed up right now I need to get that fixed before I continue.
As for other things I might find me in a pair of knit pants (leggings, capris) or any various knit t-shirts that are comfy and long. I am a simple woman, with simple tastes and styles. Comfort over style-my fashion moto.

As mentioned...The Ballet Flats from Payless

My Bass Tennis Shoes

Thank you Big Mama for hosting this fashion fun.

For more fashion fun check out Big Mama's Fashion Fiesta

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Last night I posted about how the end number performed by the final 8 contestants was Shout To The Lord. I mentioned that they changed My Jesus to My Shepherd.

Just now, the final 8 performed the song again. This time they left in My Jesus as it was suppose to be.

Given the amount of bloggers commenting on it, I'm not really surprised they responded by giving us the real words. Thank you American Idol for letting the contestants sing the song the right way.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Watching the end of American Idol Gives Back just now I was amazed to hear that the top 8 contestants ended the show by singing Shout To The Lord. It was amazing to hear them sing this song on national TV. It would have been even more amazing had they started the song with the original lyrics of My Jesus, rather than what they sang for the first verse instead. Still, it was amazing to hear it sung at all on TV. I wondered how many of them knew what they were singing or if it was just another song to them. I'm not questioning anyone's Christianity, mainly I am just curious.

I then asked why they had to bring the comedian back thereafter is beyond me. They took away from the moment they built having Shout to the Lord sung and the images of the causes of the night by bringing him back to the stage for a couple of cheap one liners. Come on American Idol, you are can do better than that. It was cheesy to take a poignant moment and then make jokes about where everyone was.

I had some leftover Reece cups from Easter

I also had some leftover cookie dough from Saturday night when we made cookie dough for the express purpose of having cookie dough. I know. It seems silly that we would have any left over cookie dough at this point, three days out, but we did. I know. It seems silly that same cookie dough was not turned into cookies, but it wasnt. Perhaps it was providential. The leftover cookie dough and the Reece cups were meant to be saved for this night...

I filled my mini muffin tins with some cookie dough. I only filled 16 slots as I only had enough Reece cups for sixteen of these things I was going to make. The rest of the leftover cookie dough went back into the fridge. I am sure my husband will devour it next time he is in there. You can also use pillsbury cookie dough too, rather than make your own. It works just as well.

The mini muffin tins went into the oven at 375 degree heat for nine minutes. Be careful, the oven is hot and it will burn you.

Nine minutes later, this is what you will find in your oven. Remove with a oven mitt or a pot holder. The mini muffin tin will be hot.

Unwrap each Reece cup in order to get the foil and the inner paper off of it. Press the Reece cup into the cookie while it is still in the mini muffin tin that is still HOT.
Let it cool for a bit in there. The chocolate will get all melty. You want that to happen.

Remove from mini muffin tin onto a plate and try one. You get both the wonderfulness that is known as a chocolate chip cookie surrounding a melted Reece cup.

I remember learning how to do this at one of the cookie exchanges from the time I participated in MOPS . I remember also making some that Christmas for my family but for whatever reason, never made them again even though they were very yummy. Neither of my kids remembered them. They both agreed that they are yummy.

Disclaimer: The above recipe has Reece cups that have peanuts in them. If you have a peanut allergy, you might want to avoid this recipe. Also, The above recipe has milk chocolate. If you have a milk or chocolate allergy, you have my sympathies. You also might want to avoid the above recipe. The above recipe also has lots of sugar in it. If you are allergic to sugar, I pity you. You too might need to avoid the above recipe. The above recipe has lots of other ingredients that are normally found in Reece cups and chocolate chip cookies. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions about whether you should consume this food or not. I am not responsible for the aftermath if you choose to consume the above recipe. Some consumers may feel a sugar rush after eating the above recipe. You might be advised that this is normal and a glass of milk (only if you are not allergic) might help cut the rich flavor that is cookies and Reece cups. This disclaimer also states that I am very sensitive to people with food allergies and this in no way makes light of such allergies. What it is is satire mocking all the long disclaimers that are becoming so common place among our daily lives.
Enjoy the cookies!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Matt Maher has a new CD coming out today. He also has a giveaway going on for the first 100 people bloggers that have 50 or more unique vistors per month to their blogs that would be willing to add his link to their blog advertising his new CD. For more information go here. It sounds really good.(you can take a listen via the link to see for yourself) Thanks boomama for the heads up about this.


Appears that they reached their 100 blogger limit. You can still listen to the CD via the link and if you like what you hear, you can buy it for $8.97

Monday, April 07, 2008

My husband, Jay, in 1963
We had an early morning today as we had to take my son to his first driver's ed class (more on that later, perhaps) My daughter, husband and I went to Chick Fil A thereafter for breakfast and then we picked up his preordered birthday cake from Dewey's in Winston-Salem. (This is where his mama always got his cakes when he was growing up and so has somewhat become a tradition of sorts when we want to really celebrate with good cake.) After Deweys, we messed around running a few errands in Winston-Salem. It was soon time to get my son from driver's ed. We returned home and even though we didn't want to-we all (all but my non stop son) took a nap in the afternoon. When we woke up, we had chinese food and cake. My husband took the day off from work so we could enjoy the day with him. We are tired, but happy...and now watching some TV.
Happy Birthday sweetheart, I love you bunches. :)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Last week, I was showing y'all my Brain Age 2 Virus Buster high score . While looking at my site stats, I saw someone came to my blog because of that post. I also saw on the google search this video at you tube. I then saw this video.
I am without words. Seriously.
Apparently-even a stuffed monkey can do it.

Disclaimer: Despite what MSM might end up thinking, this post is not to taunt her. It is an admission so to speak, to show how far off the proverbial diet/lifestyle change wagon I have fallen.

My husband's birthday is tomorrow (April 7th). A few years ago we learned that you can join the Birthday Club At Coldstone Creamery in order to receive a free coupon for ice cream around your birthday.

We all rejoiced in ice cream joy at the prospect. Cold Stone is not a place we go without some sort of coupon. It's definitely a special occasion type of place for us. The icing on the cake (or the

mix in as the case might be with cold stone) is that they recently opened a new Cold Stone at Alamance Crossing in Burlington, only 10 minutes from my house (as opposed to driving 30 into Greensboro).

Tonight was the night we cashed in on the birthday coupon my husband received. I also had saved some of the coupons from the newspaper for "sometime, maybe" that were buy two like it for $5. My husband got a "love it" signature birthday ice cream. My son got a waffle bowl with birthday cake ice cream and a brownie mixed in and my daughter mint ice cream with oreo cookie mixed in. I stayed with my same ole same ole of chocolate with reece cup mixed in.

We all came back outside into the light sprinkle. We sat in the car to enjoy our treats.

I usually leave Cold Stone with the same question: Why doesn't cold stone put more tables inside? That's what I want to know.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

My husband, daughter and I were at Wal-Mart today. I picked up a shirt as I was looking through the clothes and my husband said the first thing that came to his mind. He said it was ugly. I put it back and he said, "But if you like it, why dont you try it on." He knows that I dont generally like to shop for clothes. With his comment though, I looked at him and teased a reply, "I wouldnt buy that after you said you didnt like it because I want to look GOOD for my man". I grinned. The look he gave me was priceless. He then started back peddling saying it probably wasnt ugly and that I might look good in it. It was too late though. Unless I really believed in a certain shirt or piece of clothing there is NO way I am going to buy it if his first response is "it's ugly". Who is he kidding? ::smiles::

Last fall, Dr Pepper had this football giveaway thing. You saved lids and entered codes to try to win prizes. My son and I collected the lids and entered them as we had the time. The contest said that one in six was a winner. The first thing we won was a bottle of barbeque sauce. (which tasted really good.) Mostly the rest of what we won were ring tones, Dr Pepper Desk tops and the like. None of it was something that we got excited about. (except the bottle of Dr Pepper barbeque sauce-we just found that funny) We played along and it was fun.

Flash forward to January of this year. We noticed on the Pepsi lids that there were codes. We took a look at what you had to do to play these codes. The Pepsi Stuff site looked pretty straight forward. If you save so many lids, you could have your choice of MP3 downloads, DVDs, CDs or other assorted stuff. In December, I had placed my first Amazon order, so I had that aspect of signing up for this covered.

My son and I started entering lids. We decided that we liked the idea of getting a CD rather than MP3 downloads, so we aimed towards that. Later, we saw a DVD my daughter and I had wanted and aimed towards that instead (mainly because we couldn't find any participating CDs offered that we either wanted or didn't have already).

At some point in this past week, we saved enough lids (90) to qualify for our DVD, so we placed our order last night for Pride and Prejudice . This is the version from 1996 that we've checked out from the library a few times. My daughter and I had decided after checking it out the second time, that we really NEEDED to buy it. It was going to cost 39.99 at Barnes and Noble. Amazon's price is much more affordable at 19.99, but with the Pepsi stuff lids (something I use, but normally would just toss of course) then it was free.

We are excited. We have until November to play along in this save and exchange Pepsi stuff promotion. We drink Diet Pepsi, so it's not like we are buying something different than what I normally would. (I exchange Diet Pepsi with Diet Dr Pepper normally when I want a soft drink). The lids are also on our smaller 12 oz drinks that I use when I go out somewhere and want to take something, or when I want a drink by the computer. Given they are on the 12 oz and there are 12 per pack and that each bottle has a yellow Pepsi stuff lid, then we will reach our goals that much faster. The lids can also be found on the side of the road when you are driving by and riding your bike and you are doing the environment a favor by stopping and picking them up. My daughter is horrified that my son and I have picked up a few off the side of the road. Hey, Im not afraid of dumpster diving when necessary. Just sayin'....

This promotion is much better than the Dr Pepper on from the fall. Who can argue between the superiority of a free DVD vs Barbeque sauce? I dare you!

Friday, April 04, 2008

MSM had a post late last week about her high score (489) playing virus buster on Brain Age 2 for Nintendo DS. I just saw her post from yesterday where she says that her high score is now 1060! (way to go!) I know getting that score wasnt easy and that you are going to continue to get higher and higher scores the more time you sink into playing. Believe me, I know how much of a time waster challenge it can be personally from my own experience...but it is in reality, sanity management , isnt it? ::grinz::

Well, earlier in the week, after posting a comment on her blog about all of this, I played again, getting a score of 1121. This by no means is my high score. That is 1225. My daughter still holds the #1 overall position on the game with 1293. Well, tonight I played again and I was sooo close to getting a new high score for myself and possibly beating my daughter, Hannah's score. I got a 1203.

Do you know how disappointing it was to get so close and not quite get enough points, failing once more to dethrone her? It was satisfying at least to take over the number 3 overall spot though as I now hold second place and third after her first place overall (which she has held for a long time, ever since the last time I overtook her overall first place score back when our high scores were only in the 700's and 1000's). After sitting here for two hours trying hard to concentrate so I didn't mess up and fail again, I came so close, yet did not quite make it-again.

So below is a photo of the end of my game score. I will keep trying and if I ever do get first again, I'll let you know. I know you will be sitting on the edge of your seats until then. Right?

By the way, the red glow in the picture is because I was trying to keep the flash from glaring on the game screen.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

We just returned a few minutes ago from the laundromat. Our visits to the laundromat seem to be a yearly event.

This time it is the dryer's fault.

It runs without drying our clothing.

Or our towels.

Yesterday the dryer ran all day without any of us giving it another thought. It never buzzed "off" signalling it was done. All of us kept walking over the pile of clothes in the floor waiting to be washed and dried. My daughter is the one that finally caught on when she wondered why her work uniform was still in the hallway at 10 pm. Yes, it was now ten pm and those clothes that were in the dryer had been going since about 1 or 2 pm. They were dry, but not warm. We put a new load of wet things in there and my daughter quickly washed her uniform that she needed for this morning. She added it to the drying load. Two hours later, the clothes were still wet and no heat could be felt.

Quickly we pulled out the ironing board and the hair drier to begin getting her uniform dry so she could get to bed.

So I'm guessing it is the heating coil. We've had that go out before on the dryer we replaced two years ago. My husband was able (with the help of some friends we knew online) to replace it then and so hopefully he'll be able to replace it this time to. (if that is what is wrong)

But for now, until he is able to get to it, we'll make trips to the laundromat. We like this one particular laundromat. The owners are nice, the shop clean and the dryers good and well maintained. It's not too far from home and there is a Sir Pizza right next door. (how convenient!)

The Laundromat: It's a great place to people watch and make new friends, really it is!
(It's also a great way to complete your state quarter collection, if you are into such things -which we are)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

  • Twenty three years ago today I began a new job.(that I no longer have)

  • I had asked for this job "on a whim".

  • It was at Yum Yum, a locally famous hot dog and ice cream restaurant in Greensboro that my family often went to growing up(and my father's family had gone to when he was growing up).

  • I started my job and on that day met my husband to be, Jay (love you Jay)

  • He helped me learn to make ice cream cones with a spoon.

  • It's not easy to make ice cream cones with a spoon.

It always amazes me how God works to bring people together. I was not looking for a husband. he wasnt looking for a wife. I was in my senior year (last two months) of high school. He was a senior at the University across the stree where I was scheduled to start in the fall. I consider, "what if I had gone to NC State or GTCC like I considered doing", and then know that what ifs are pointless. Praise God for how He works in our lives.

Did anyone else hear on tonight's American Idol results show, Dolly Parton say, That's OK, American Idol has Simon - I have Jesus?

I have never participated in Works For Me Wednesday, but have wanted to give it a try. Of course the one week that I do decide to give it great effort, is the very week that also is kind of a best of week where folks can recycle their old "works for me" posts. Well since I dont have one, I'll have to just start from scratch and call it my best...because it will be the one and only-and therefore my best.

I sort of scratched my head wondering what to post about. What exactly about my life "works for me". I could say that what works for me best are my two teenagers...but I'll try to go deeper than that.

But wait, what really has worked for me as a stay at home -homeschooling mother is that I did teach my kids early on to help around the house. It does sound quite basic, but it takes time to teach your kids how to wash dishes, clothes, vacuum and dust the way you want them to.

I remember it hitting me hard when I was walking around doing the housework all day while also teaching my two kids their lessons. After they were done with lessons they would go off and play. After they were done with lessons I still had supper to cook, clothes to put away and a bathroom to clean. I thought, "wait a minute-this is so basic, I have built in help RIGHT here that can help me if I train them right."

Slowly I started by pulling them aside and painstakingly teaching each one of them an extra job to do around the house. I also started putting their clothes in a basket in my bedroom (for them to put away each morning) It takes time to train them but this is key. It may take you twice the time for a couple of times how to do something, but eventually you have kids that actually know how to clean house the way you would.

After they learned all about cleaning house, I then taught them how to cook meals. Slowly I walked them through recipes that were simple, slowly building up to the more complicated ones. We are still working on building their menu abilities, but I can say with confidence that neither of my kids will every starve out of lack of kitchen skills. They also know how to comparison shop and the importance of coupons. If I am away when dinner needs to be started, I can call home and let my son or daughter know that they need to start something for us.

So now, I can assign jobs and we can get the housework done in one third the time it would have taken me to do it ALL alone. The time spent instructing them one on one now returns to me two fold. You know what that means folks? More time that can be spent on the computer blogging! You heard that right!

And we labeled all the cool lessons "Home Economics" to go along with their regular homeschool studies. They passed with flying colors!

For more Works For Me Wednesday Posts

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

As I mentioned in a post last week, we are in the minority by not having some sort of cable/direct TV service. I am OK with that. We may in time or may not. I'm not sold that this is in our family's best interest right now, especially with all that is online nowadays. With this, I know that in 2009 we will need one of those converter boxes in order to watch the TV we do watch. A few weeks ago, I went to The site that is handling the government coupons to offset the cost to the public in buying what we'll need and signed up to receive two coupons. The coupons arrived today and ours (given when we signed up) need to be used by the end of June of this year.

Now I'm not really sure of the reasoning behind the coupon cards expiring by then when many people are procrastinators (like me). I guess I will hope to find at least one by then that is inexpensive enough that my outlay of money is minimal. (from my understanding I might have to pay 10-15 dollars of my own cash money to acquire one of these things, at least) I'm not really worried about it, it's more just one more something that complicates the American Civilized lifestyle just another step more-well at least the two or three other Americans that are cable free with older TVs like me.